Drives & Controls January 2024

n NEWS January 2024 10 A GLOBAL POLL OF 1,100 IT and OT (operational technology) security professionals working in the industrial sector has found that 75% of them were targets of ransomware attacks in the past year. The poll, conducted for the cybersecurity ‚rm Claroty, also found that 69% of the targeted organisations had paid the ransom, and that more than half (54%) of those who paid had su‡ered ‚nancial rami‚cations worth $100,000 or more. Claroty has published the ‚ndings in a report, The Global State of Industrial Cybersecurity 2023: New Technologies, Persistent Threats, and Maturing Defenses. Some 500 of those quizzed were from North America, 250 from the EMEA region, 250 from Asia-Paci‚c and 100 from Latin America. The study shows that the impact of ransomware attacks on OT environments is catching up on that on IT environments. In a previous survey in 2021, Claroty found that 32% of ransomware attacks a‡ected IT only, while 27% a‡ected both IT and OT. Today, 21% impact IT alone, while 37% a‡ect both IT and OT. Claroty says that this trend reveals an expanding attack “surface area”, and an increased risk of operational disruption coming from the convergence of OT with IT. The increased threats and ‚nancial losses come as new technologies are being integrated into OT environments. For example, 61% of respondents are now using security tools that use generative AI and an 47% say that this has raised their security worries. The respondents report a high demand for cyber-insurance, with 80% of organisations having paid for cyberinsurance policies and about half (49%) having opted for policies providing $500,000 or more of coverage. “Our study shows that there is clearly no shortage of challenges facing OT security professionals, but we also found tremendous room for opportunity and appetite to mature security posture across industrial environments,” says Claroty CEO, Yaniv Vardi. “Organisations are already working to bolster their risk assessment, vulnerability management and network segmentation practices, in order to be highly proactive in their defence of cyberphysical systems.” 75% of industrial businesses hit by ransomware attacks in past year YASKAWA, THE JAPANESE manufacturer of drives, motion controls and robotics, is moving to a new 35,000ft2 (3,250m2) UK headquarters and manufacturing facility in Sunderland. The site, at Hillthorn Park, is next to Nissan UK and the International Advanced Manufacturing Park. A key motivator for choosing the site has been the presence of electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers in the area. “Being close to customers is extremely important to us and this move binds perfectly with that, putting us right at the heart of one of the UK’s largest manufacturing clusters and some of the biggest names in EV development and production,” says Yaskawa UK’s managing director, David Walsh. “We also have plans to continue growing our headcount over the course of the next year and this will give us the space required to enable that, as well as ensuring we can continue to tap into the region’s rich talent pool of skilled workers. “As a newly built facility, it is far more environmentally friendly than our previous sites,”Walsh adds. “It’s a real vote of con‚dence from our HQ for our business plans not only in the North East but the UK as a whole, and we can’t wait until next Spring when we can move in.” Yaskawa has been supported in its move by Sunderland City Council. Yaskawa currently manufactures drives and motion products in Cumbernauld, Scotland, while 80% of its robots for the European market are produced at a plant in Slovenia. Yaskawa’s UK headquarters were previously in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Yaskawa moves its UK HQ to EV hotspot in Sunderland David Walsh, managing director at Yaskawa UK (right) with Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, outside the company’s new UK HQ building